We’re back for another day of our tournament to crown the shittiest parking lot in Gloucester! Day 1 and Day 2 are still open for voting, so cast that shit before it’s too late. Today we pit school vs school and restaurant vs restaurant. WHO WILL WIN? WHO WILL BE CRUSHED LIKE A BUG? Let’s find out.
Pathways for Children vs East Gloucester School
Pathways for Children
Pathways for Children is amazing. I’ll just get that right out of the way. They are a dedicated bunch of people doing great things for our kids. The parking lot, however, is a freakin’ zoo. It’s so bad, they need a retired police officer to direct traffic every morning. It’s chaos. There are not nearly enough spaces dedicated to pick up and drop off, so you’re forced to walk really far in sleet, hail, whatever, with multiple kids, while the person who got there at 6 am and didn’t move all day parked right next to the door. Awesome.
This lot also boasts key features such as intensely small spots to ensure maximum door dentage, people who live-park where buses go, and people who live-park where handicapped spaces are. And the PACE workers who control a small subset of the parking lot will literally fucking cut you if you even pull into one of their spaces for two seconds to unload a parent and child and continue on to circle. Last year sometime, a woman working at PACE leaned out the window and yelled to me that I was beneath her and stupid for doing this – because I’m poor, I can’t read apparently (I have a fucking business degree). There were six other empty PACE spaces next to me, by the way.
East Gloucester School (I made Jim Dowd cover this one)
Remember the movie 300? Remember how the Spartans broke the backs of the invading Persians by funneling them into the ‘hot gates’ of Thermopylae, a geological feature rendering their superior numbers meaningless against the defending Greeks? Remember how awesome those dudes abs were? EGS is like that, but replace “Persians” with “anyone trying to get the fuck in there” and “abs” with “not abs”. But the principle remains the same. Everything funnels all at once into a singular narrow gap and there is no getting back out: busses, cars, ill-timed delivery trucks, and giant bejeweled glistening bald men on slave-borne parade floats are all stranded at one end while the relentless waves of humanity crash against its walls. At least Leonidas and his men got to die. EGS has to do it every day. Additional note: EGS is home to the world’s only curved crosswalk. Take that, sanity!
Causeway vs Destino’s
The Causeway lot is maddening solely due to the restaurant’s popularity. While I’m happy that they do well and serve the largest plates of pasta and seafood known to man or beast, this means that the limited parking they have to offer is not enough to quench the hungry parking hordes. People park their cars on top of other, weaker cars. It’s like parking at the mall on Christmas Eve, but busier. If you wanted to just run into the liquor store, it was a teeth-gritting experience. I once toyed with the idea of getting takeout from there, until a more level-headed person talked me down from that ledge. Getting in and out of the lot means trying to back up at 1mph into traffic coming downhill at roughly 95 mph.
What sets Destino’s apart from the competition, aside from having a never-ending macaroni salad bar (and BY GOD is it delicious and addictive), is their decision to leave their small parking lot without any real distinct parking lines. Up is down! Down is up! I could park diagonally in the center of the lot and not be in the wrong! This means nothing but drama and confusion, because who knows who was the first person to park like butt and leave a gap of .7 cars between theirs and the next, but it’s the song that never ends. It’s probably been a chain reaction of not parking right that spans back to 1964. Getting in and out of the lot is also heart-pounding – try not to back into the HVAC unit of the apartments behind it, and then turn left onto Prospect. I sense a theme where the crappiest lots involve pulling out of parking spaces into traffic that’s going way too fucking fast.